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Een neus voor de natuur: over de mogelijkheden van speurhonden in het natuurbehoud

Research output: Contribution to journalA2: Article in a journal with peer review, not included in A1


  • Ianthe Terpelle
  • Dorien Van Cautereb
  • Ellen Van Krunkelsven
  • Wim Vanhove
  • Hilde Vervaecke


Original languageDutch
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)166-170
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Detection dogs have been assigned with various tasks such as finding drugs, explosives and human corpses. However, these dogs can also be trained to search for certain species of conservation interest. Common examples are dogs looking for scat of specific mammals, quarantine species at import localities or carcasses of bats under windmills. This technique is very helpful for species that are otherwise hard to find. The highest success is achieved if the dog can search for a non-mobile component: plant, scat, nest or carcasses. In two bachelor dissertations, we tested the success rate of training a detection dog for the larvae of Stag Beetle Lucanus cervus and the scat of Otter Lutra lutra. In both cases the dogs were succesfull in detecting the species. Two dogs trained for Otter scat succeeded in 80 and 100% of the cases. One dog trained for Stag Beetles performed good in 81% of the cases. We conclude that detection dogs could be an interesting technique to monitor or study species for nature conservation, if appropriate species are selected, training is carried out professionally and the dog can be used regularly on the field. 
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